What is the most exciting thing about pitching?

Winning. Or even better – derailing the pitch.
What piece of advice would you give clients who are putting their business up to pitch?

Be completely clear about what you seek to achieve and the criteria on which you’ll base your decision.
Tell us about your best / worst pitch moment.

As a fairly junior client I had to pitch to a retail buyer who threw me out of his office – literally, picked up my briefcase and chucked it down the stairs. The following week he signed the deal. Dramatic negotiating tactics haven’t fazed me since.
What single thing do you think is most important for clients to realise when pitching?

Pitching is time-consuming and expensive; there are other ways of finding the best partner.
What one thing would you like to change about pitching today?

The pitch process is an inefficient use of resources; early selection based on chemistry and approach achieves a better result.
Please submit any ideas or experience with alternative pitch processes.

We believe in getting to know our clients off-site – in the bar, the supermarket or whatever environment their brands operate in. We get to know each other as people, and we also get close to their customers by watching them, listening to them and interacting with them.
We’ve derailed a fair number of pitches, sometimes by refusing to be involved in a full-on competitive, creative pitch. It’s made clients question the pitch process, and, of course, its shows a lot of chutzpah on our account, which is intriguing enough for prospects to want to get to know us better. If they want to fashion us into a replica of a previous agency then we are probably not the right people to talk to…

 

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What is the most exciting thing about pitching?

    Seeing colleagues experience the pitch process for the first time, flourish in it and pleasantly surprise themselves. Every pitch is an opportunity to Know More than yesterday, no matter what your role, level or experience.

     

    What piece of advice would you give clients who are putting their business up to pitch?

    The response from your agencies will only be as good (if not better…) as the brief given to them.   Being honest and open at the briefing stage is integral to finding the right agency to suit your needs.

     

    Tell us about your best / worst pitch moment.

      My worst pitch moment was getting stuck in a lift for 20 minutes with clients on the way to the pitch room, with the agency pitch team waiting to present.

      My best pitch moment was going on to win that pitch anyway.

       

      What single thing do you think is most important for clients to realise when pitching?

        Pitching costs agencies. Having a concise timetable (and sticking to it) and including contract negotiations within the timings assuages long processes and this, in turn, keeps costs down.

         

        What one thing would you like to change about pitching today?

          Make at least one face-to-face meeting mid-pitch mandatory.

          All too often a brief lands with a pitch date and communication between client and agency as good as ceases.  I believe that ongoing communication during pitches improves the experience for everyone.

           

          Please submit any ideas or experience with alternative pitch processes.

            Something I’d like to try out is very different to the typical process as we know it – complete the pitch process in a day.

            Starting with a shortlist of agencies and going in to each of their offices for a full day, being provided with unrestricted access to everywhere and everyone. Interview employees at all levels, experience the culture of the agency for yourself and see the brief being worked on live.  It’s a no frills approach, but there is no better way to truly know which agency is best for you than experiencing ‘a day in the life of’ first hand.

             

            Anna-Liisa Goshawk, New Business and Marketing Manager, Rocket, Omnicom Media Group UK

             

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